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September 13, 2012 7:53 am

EDITORIAL: Highway safety starts with us

Written by Ilene Olson

The five days from Aug. 31 through Sept. 4 proved to be some of the deadliest on Wyoming roads this year, with four crashes and one pedestrian accident claiming a total of six lives.

Those incidents serve as reminders of the importance of remaining vigilant and making wise choices when driving — or even walking across a street.

The pedestrian, a Cody man, walked across Big Horn Avenue in Cody in the middle of the block at a time when the setting sun made it difficult for drivers to see. He was struck by a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old who was obeying the speed limit and was not cited. A blood test was taken to determine whether alcohol use by the pedestrian was a factor in the accident.

Other fatalities included a motorcyclist from Gillette whose motorcycle left a highway near Gillette and struck a dirt berm, ejecting him from the motorcycle. The possibilities of alcohol use and excessive speed were being investigated.

A crash near Riverton killed a 25-year-old passenger and seriously injured the 58-year-old driver, both from Riverton, when the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Two people from Florida — likely a husband and wife — were killed when the tractor-trailer combination the man was driving crashed through a guardrail at a turn on a highway near Buffalo and fell 150 feet into a gulch. The truck wasn’t in low gear, resulting in the loss of the truck’s brakes. The driver passed two runaway truck ramps before the truck fell over the side of the mountain.

A Colorado woman died when her BMW was struck by a semi-trailer being towed by a tow truck driven by a Wamsutter man. Troopers are investigating the crash, looking at a possible mechanical failure of the trailer connection.

It’s certain that most, if not all, of those deaths could have been prevented. While summer is over, many people still are traveling, either for business or pleasure. It’s up to us to do what we can to make sure we are driving safely and that our vehicles are road worthy. The lives we save could be our own and those who we love, as well as members of the traveling public.

Be wise. Be safe.

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